Sebelius Asked Companies to Support Health Care Law
Administration officials say the health care law needs private support because Congress has provided less money than Mr. Obama requested for a public education and outreach campaign. Public opinion surveys show that many people who could benefit are unaware of the options. ~~ perhaps the majority of Americans are not interested!WASHINGTON — Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, disclosed on Tuesday that she had made telephone calls to three companies regulated by her department and urged them to help a nonprofit group promote President Obama’s health care law.
She identified the companies as Johnson & Johnson, the drug maker; Ascension Health, a large Roman Catholic health care system; and Kaiser Permanente, the health insurance plan.
On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate, which requires most people to maintain a minimum level of health insurance coverage beginning in 2014. A majority of the Court also found the ACA’s Medicaid expansion unconstitutionally coercive of states, while a different majority of the Court held that this issue was fully remedied by limiting the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s enforcement authority. The ruling left the ACA’s Medicaid expansion intact in the law, but the practical effect of the Court’s decision makes the Medicaid expansion optional for states.
This policy brief provides background on the Medicaid program and the legal challenge to the Medicaid expansion under health reform, and summarizes the controlling and dissenting opinions of the Court regarding the Medicaid expansion.
See also: Implementing the ACA’s Medicaid-Related Health Reform Provisions After the Supreme Court’s Decision